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BULGARIA


Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Sofia; Population - 7.1 million; Currency - Lev MORE BULGARIA

Several daily buses do the 7hr journey from Istanbul to cute Plovdiv, usually carrying on to Sofia less than 2hrs away - April 2019.

 

bulgarianoteThe 10 Lev note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria2The quiet Sunday morning streets of Plovdiv, 2019 European Capital of Culture

 

bulgaria3There's so much street art in the city and this was my first glimpse - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria1Pedestrianised Knyaz Aleksandar is the heart of the shopping district - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria6A statue of Milyo 'the idiot' on Knyaz Aleksandar - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria4This looks like a Soviet era mural, above a bar on Pl Stambolov - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria9The 2nd century Stadium of Philippopolis is a Roman ruin much like a small amphitheatre - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria10Near the Stadium is the Ottoman era 15th century Dzhumaya Mosque - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria14Hidden between Sahat Tepe hill and a back street are several excellent street murals - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria15There's art galleries aplenty in Plovdiv, so I guess it's just spillling outside

 

bulgaria16If you're into street art definitely seek these out - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria17Cupid about to fire an arrow - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria18 Tsar Simeon Garden is an attractive park on the southern edge of the centre - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria24.. and the Maritsa River is on the northern edge - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria20A colourful and fun pub wall in the Kapana neighbourhood - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria27Not sure what this shop sells.. - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria29This one makes my eyes go funny - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria44The views are great from the top of Nebet Tepe, a hill in the old town - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria42The minaret in the middle of the photo belongs to Dzhumaya Mosque - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria33Walking the pretty cobbled streets of the old town - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria35On the right is the entrance to the Church of Sveti Konstantin & Elena - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria45The Ethnographic Museum is housed in a 19th century former merchant's house - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria47Through the frame - Plovdiv

 

bulgaria49 On the steps of the 2nd century AD Roman amphitheatre, which could host 6,000 spectators - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria55Another Soviet-era mural? - Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria56Snow-capped mountains on the coach ride from Plovdiv to Sofia

 

bulgaria57 The Sofia Monument was erected in 2001, and replacing a statue of Stalin - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria67Bulgaria certainly likes its street art - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria65The cafe, bar and restaurant hub of Sofia is the pedestrian-only Vitosha

 

bulgaria60At the top of Vitosha is the 19th century Sveta Nedelya Cathedral - Sofia

 

bulgaria69 The ruins of the Roman city Serdica greet you when coming out of Serdika metro station, here with 16th century Banya Bashi Mosque in the background - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria71The Serdica ruins continue under a glass roof beneath the former Communist Party House - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria72Next to the Party House is the President's Building, for the president of course - Sofia

 

bulgaria74Also near the top of Vitosha is the Palace of Justice - Sofia

 

bulgaria79Mountains peak above the Volunteer's Monument - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria85In the same square, the church that Bulgaria's capital is named after, Sveta Sofia Church, is a bit of a let down, an unremarkable red-brick building - Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria80Far more impressive is the late 19th/early 20th century Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, opposite the church - Sofia

 

bulgaria82The cathedral was built to honour the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria's independence during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/78 - Sofia

 

bulgaria91 Next up was the beautifully situated town of Veliko Tarnovo, 3hrs east of Sofia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria100On a peninsula surrounded by the Yantra River is the State Art Museum and the equine Asen Dynasty Monument - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria111Street art on the walk down from Sammy's Bar to Ulitsa General Gurko - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria112Along the same road - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria121Ulitsa General Gurko is a lovely historic street beneath the main town - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria115Hotel Gurko lies on the street of the same name - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria117There's several guesthouses along Ulitsa General Gurko, including mine, which had a great view of the Yantra River and art museum - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria119Even though the street's a big draw it's usually quiet, with most Bulgarian day-trippers sticking to the high street and Tsarevets Fortress - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria122I did read of a city in Bulgaria wanting to brighten up utility boxes, and the idea has obviously spread to here - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria94Looking across the Yantra River to Tsarevets Fortress and its sturdy walls - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria130Tsarevets Fortress served as the primary seat of the medieval tsars from the 12th to 14th century - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria136Take the lift to the top of Baldwin's Tower within the fortress complex for a bird's eye view - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria133The panorama highlights how lush green and hilly the area is - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria139The interior of the Ascension Cathedral contains very dark images. I guess all churches do but the use of black, white and grey feels slightly unsettling. Fair play, it's different! - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria137The Yantra River and the centre of town - Veliko Tarnovo

 

bulgaria138The best thing about the fortress for me were the superb 360° views - Veliko Tarnovo

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

http://bulgariatravel.org - official Bulgarian tourism

www.bdz.bg - Bulgarian trains website

www.busexpress.bg - and the buses site

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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